PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Exposure therapy is considering one of the best empirically supported treatments for not only PTSD but also a number of other anxiety disorders (e.g. OCD & phobias)

Session four centers on “imaginally” exposing clients to memories of their trauma event. The overarching goal of this procedure is to help clients’ to habituate to these memories (as these cognitions largely maintain the clients maladaptive constellation of avoidance behaviors, nightmares, etc.). More generally, this process can be utilized to reduce most fears and phobias – even death! (E.g., Zen Buddhist death meditations) But I digress. Take a look!

Outline of session 4:
1. Explain imaginal exposure rationale
2. Emotional processing
3. Need to digest this heavy experience
4. Ensure client understands the importance of reliving rather than remembering the experience (ABSOLUTELY PIVOTAL THE CLIENT STRIVES TOWARDS THIS GOAL)
5. Habituation reduces avoidance & anxiety
6. Increase self-efficacy
7. Enhance sense of mastering fears
8. Ask client to sit back, relax, close eyes and begin reliving the memory
9. Offer direction & support when indicated
10. Query subjective units of distress
11. Rinse & repeat

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